Born in 1914, BILLY ECKSTINE formed his own band in ’43. Some of this shabby group of band members were Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, Fats Navarro, Art Blakey, Sarah Vaughn. Wow!
For years one of the clearest most elegant voices ever, was just a piano player in a trio. When star vocalist Billie Holliday didn’t show for a gig, the club convinced NAT KING COLE to fill in. Classy Nat soared to crossover stardom. Became 1st black host of a TV show in ’56. Guess who was the top artist and had the top song in 1944 on the Hot Chart? Yup, Nat King Cole with Straighten Up and Fly Right.